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Re: “The Inscrutable Gretchen Parlato

I've seen Gretchen Parlato perform a number of times over the years, and her performances have always been quite upbeat and sparkle with energy. So it did seem she was unusually reserved and lacked her typical bubbly energy on this particular evening.

But after the concert I overheard her telling people, while signing CDs, that she was recovering from illness, which would explain much of the criticism in this review, which went so far as to suggest possible stage fright. It's easy to see how this might be the interpretation, as it would require a similar hyper-focus to overcome either obstacle. In this case it seems more likely she was just putting in her best effort to perform and sing while feeling subpar.

I didn't feel the room acoustics helped matters. It's a beautiful building and room, but I was continually distracted by the sound going in and out of control — the sound of the drums was too live, the upper range of the keyboard was almost silent during solos and even Gretchen's normally delicate voice boomed and echoed in louder passages. For me, the out of control acoustics were even more distracting than my curiosity over her sounding possibly sick.

Posted by Doug55 on 10/27/2010 at 9:22 AM

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